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I used ton’t mind the heat so much, I was simply happy to be outside. However, it did slow the speed of our progress at the construction website. It was grinding job between digging, mixing concrete, laying cubes, and bending rebar, all that I had little to no working knowledge in.
I’ll admit that building houses was perhaps not in my job description. A grin crossed my face, not because I felt much more joyful, however because I had been truly satisfied. I recognized a gentle breeze which unexpectedly drifted across the scene and took my thoughts with it. My mind started to wonder. How did I arrive here?
Are not there something more to life than routine and monotony? At times I’d often wonder if a lot of everyone was really getting up at the morning motivated by the job they were doing and how their lives were unfolding. I wanted a change. I wanted to become actively engaged with something positive that will provide me with a sense of purpose. Does that exist, and if yes where do I register? Yet, I finally took the initiative and started to see this dream when I traveled to Costa Rica to a whim and found myself volunteering with Habitat for Humanity International. Can one person really change the whole world? I desired to find out.
Habitat simply started a brand new International Volunteer Program (IVP) to get long-term volunteers and I was the 1st to experience the program. My official title was the Volunteer Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean. I felt this is a tremendous opportunity since the organization was built and existed on the support of volunteers. Beginning I was somewhat on edge, in due time I found my groove over the Habitat framework. It was incredible – that I was actually enjoying office job. I participate in the creation of materials such as a volunteer manual, interview guides, and evaluation forms. I worked with a taskforce for its continuous advancement of the IVP program. I even handled an on site volunteer training regime at El Salvador. The best part in my job was to work along side other volunteers, those who were there not because that they had to function but have there been simply because they desired to be.
So far as the volunteers have been concerned, my job was to coordinate home and coming logistics, then administer orientations, and encourage them through the duration of their stay. There was such a charm between the volunteers I would often simply take it a step further and plan weekend excursions and after work outings. We wound up not simply changing the lives of many others, but changing the lives of one another.
Normally as I could I’d break away from the office and accept volunteers build trips to Habitat construction sights during Costa Rica. It was heartwarming to see firsthand the culmination of one’s job. Out at the sight we would work alongside the benefiting Habitat family who was consistently very receptive, helpful, and appreciative of the help. The scene was a wonderful amalgamation of civilizations, economic backgrounds, and faith. Yet the common bond that tied us together was the very simple thought of creating a home. Just watching everyone working, laughing, grinning, and sharing created a feeling therefore rich with emotion that I made me reconsider how I recognized wealth. The house was symbolic greater than only a place of residence. It represented a unity, a coming together, and also an inherent understanding of equality which we’ll carry together to the remainder of our own lives. As cliché as it may sound, it had been true. We’re not only building houses, but we were building lives.
Internationally or domestically, conflict resolution or individual rights, poverty or the surroundings – it’s disheartening to think there are so many ways to get involved and give back to the international community. It isn’t important where you begin to get started making positive gifts equally so long when you make your choice to actually start somewhere. Eventually, this is among the toughest decisions to make. I chose the movement of eliminating poverty housing. Did I eradicate poverty housing? Maybe not really close. Did I succeed? Definitely! The serenity of my experience taught me that I cannot eliminate poverty home, that led me into this answer I was searching for. Perhaps one man can not change the entire world, but the entire world can definitely change for one individual. And it’s this domino effect, which should spread across the planet we could, together, achieve the unthinkable and create a world that reflects the warmth of humanity instead of its indifference.
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